Victory! My Experience Getting A USPS Late Delivery Refund

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USPS Late Delivery Refund

Victory! My Experience Getting A USPS Late Delivery Refund

It is no secret that mail delivery has been unreliable since the beginning of the pandemic.  With more people are ordering items online than ever, plus a shortage in the workforce, there have been huge delays from every supplier. These challenges have led to numerous delayed shipments for me personally. I have talked about getting compensation for late deliveries from Amazon, Walmart and Target but how about going to the source.  Could I get a USPS late delivery refund? Is that even a thing that is possible? I can tell you that it is! But, it is only for specific circumstances. Overall, I will say the process was amazingly simple and fast…something I did not expect.  Let’s go over the details.

USPS Late Delivery Refund

Shipping My Package

With the recent restrictions in our state, and at my wife’s work, we had to cancel our trip to see family over Thanksgiving.  We were planning on doing our Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations all at one time.  Because of that I needed to ship a package to my sister before she met up with my parents. This all came about last minute so I only had a few days to get the package to her.

She lives about 4 hours south of me and during normal times I may have risked it and just done Priority Mail, which should get there in two days.  All I had was two days though so I went with Priority Mail Express which had a 1-day delivery guarantee.  The cost was not cheap, at $33.40, for a package weighing under 2 pounds. I figured it would be important to have a day buffer from when they said it would be delivered. Boy was I right!

The package said it would be delivered the next day by noon. When I checked tracking the following day it showed that it was still in the Detroit distribution center at noon, a whole 30 minutes away from me. I figured they must have just forgotten to scan it but my sister said she never got a package that day.  The 1 day package sat in Detroit for over 24 hours. Luckily it was delivered the next day in the early afternoon. But by that point I was more than a little ticked off that I paid over $30 for a package to sit 30 minutes down the road for over a day.  That is when I started looking into their terms.

Getting A USPS Late Delivery Refund

If I am being honest I don’t know a ton about the USPS but I figured even the government had to have some sort of refund system 😂. With UPS or Fed Ex I would expect a refund for late shipments but I wasn’t sure with the postal service.  I started digging online but there wasn’t a ton of easily accessible information, part of the reason I decided to write this up.

After poking around I found out that only guaranteed Priority Mail Express deliveries could be refunded. Lucky for me, that is exactly what I had paid for.  When I printed the label at home it said it would arrive the next day by noon.  Well, it missed that cut off by over 24 hours so I figured I should be a shoo-in for a refund. Here is the process I followed:

USPS Late Delivery Refund

Step 1 – Website

I found the USPS help / refund webpage.  Once there I selected request a refund about half way down the page. You should wait a few days after the guaranteed delivery time was missed to file a claim. You have up until 30 days from delivery to make a claim as well so don’t hold off too long.

Step 2 – Info Needed

After logging into my account, you can sign up for one if you don’t have one, you enter your tracking number. All Priority Mail Express comes with tracking included so you should have no issues there. They will also ask for the shipping date etc. and once you fill out the remaining info you can hit submit.

USPS Late Delivery Refund

Step 3 – Results Given

After you submit they should let you know the status of your request.  Mine was immediately approved.  It could also go to pending but my guess is many are approved right away.

My USPS Late Delivery Refund Timeline

Here is my timeline for the entire ordeal:
  • Shipped package 11/23
  • Package delivered 11/25 (supposed to be 11/24)
  • Filed claim 11/27 (immediate approval)
  • Check issued 11/30
  • Check received 12/3

It took less than a week for me to get my refund after submitting my claim. I was very surprise, and pleased, with how quickly the refund came.  I expected it to take several weeks.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it is possible to get a USPS late delivery refund. Well, at least if you shipped a Priority Mail Express package that comes with a guaranteed delivery.  Overall, the process was very easy and it was much quicker than expected.  I had planned on there needing to be human intervention at some point to review the claim etc. but everything seemed pretty automated.  At the end of the day I got to mail a present in two days and it cost me nothing. That is a win in my book!

With all of the delivery delays out there, would I proactively pay for Priority Mail Express with the hope that I get a free delivery out of it? I would consider it for sure if it was a semi urgent delivery 😁.

Share any experiences you have with getting a USPS late delivery refund in the comments below.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. USPS can do strange things Yesterday I received a Christmas card from my next door neighbor (yes they mailed it). We live in WV, so I was a bit surprised to see a Harrisburg PA stamp cancellation mark.

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